Somalia - country of Somal
Not every Somali is a Somali, not every Somali is a Somali: "Somali" denotes
the ethnic affiliation to the Somal people, who make up the overwhelming
proportion of Somalis, i.e. the residents of the Somalia state. The Somals
also settle in areas outside the borders of Somalia, which is why some of these
borders are controversial between Somalia and its neighboring countries. Located
on the Somali Peninsula in the Indian Ocean, also known as the "Horn of Africa",
Somalia borders Djibouti in the north-west and Kenya in the south-west. The
Ethiopian highlands protrude into the country from the west like a pointed
tip. The Somali coast, at around 3,000 km the longest of all continental African
states, was one of the areas affected by the effects of the December 2005
Agriculture is the largest livelihood sector in Somalia, and the nomads'
livestock farming is the country's economic basis Limit natural beauties. The
Somal, however, have developed an extraordinarily rich art of poetry. It is only
for a few decades that legends, songs and poems, previously only preserved in
oral tradition, have also been recorded in writing. The language of the Somal
tribes is Somali - since 1972 it has also been the country's official
language. It is written in Latin script.
If the per capita income is taken as a basis, Somalia is one of the poorest
countries in the world. The economic situation was made even more catastrophic
by the civil war and the breakdown of the state. The country is one of the
so-called "failing states", those states in which no overall state authority has
been able to establish itself and which are permanently threatened by internal
disintegration and the danger of civil war. Even the new interim president since
2009, the moderate Islamist Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, and his government are not
recognized and opposed by radical Islamists. The latter control large parts of
central and southern Somalia. The other parts of the country are under the rule
of local militias and clans, who occasionally fight their conflicts at gunpoint.
There are practically no state institutions in Somalia. The security
situation is more than precarious, and Mogadishu is considered the most
dangerous capital in the world. Furthermore, according to a publication by the
International Maritime Bureau (IMB), the approx. 3,000 km long coastline is
considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world with regard to
piracy. Therefore, it is currently almost impossible - and certainly not as a
private person - to travel to the country.
To make matters worse, in 2011 the country suffered the worst drought in living
memory and an associated great famine. And all of this despite the fact that
Somalia is one of the very few countries that has a religion, a language and
practically an ethnic group.
|Name of the country
||Republic of Somalia
|Form of government
||between 15.9 million (Credit:
||approx. 85% members of the Somali tribes
||approx. 99.8% Sunni Muslims (state religion)
||Somali (= Af-ka Soomaali-ga) is the main language.
Arabic, Italian, English and Swahili are also spoken in the country.
||Surud Ad with a height of 2,416 m
||Webi Shebeli with a length of 2,010 km
||There are no larger lakes in Somalia.
|International license plate
||1 Somali shilling = 100 cents
|Time difference to CET
||+ 2 h
|International phone code
|Mains voltage, frequency
||220 volts and 50 hertz
|Internet TDL (Top Level Domain)
Until the 19th century
Under the name of Punt, the land was found around 100 BC. Mentioned in
Egyptian sources. In the 8th century, the first Arab settlements emerged on the
coast of what is now Somalia. In the 13th century, the Sultanate Ifat was
founded on the coast of what is now Eritrea and Somalia from the remains of the
Shoah empire. At the beginning of the 15th century, this empire was finally
subjugated by Isaac, the Christian emperor of Ethiopia at the time, after about
100 years of war. In Eritrea, northern Somalia (now Somaliland), eastern
Ethiopia and Djibouti, the Sultanate of Adal was created, which was defeated by
the Ethiopian David II in the early 16th century. In the same century, the
Portuguese began to colonize the coastal region, but were driven out again by
the Sultans of Muscat-Zanzibar.
Abbreviationfinder website, at the beginning of the 17th century, the Turkish sultan Mohammed Gran von
Adal almost succeeded in suppressing the Ethiopian kingdom in a "holy war", but
this was prevented by the intervention of the Portuguese. From 1698, Southern
Somalia belonged to the Sultanate of Oman (Zanzibar).
Colonization of Somalia began towards the end of the 19th century. The
country was divided into British Somaliland, Italian Somalia, French Somaliland
(Djibouti), the Ethiopian Ogaden area and the northeastern border district of
Kenya under British rule.
From the 20th century to the present
After gaining independence in 1960, British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland
were united to form the Republic of Somalia.
In 1969 General MS Barre came to power through a military coup. After the
declaration of the "Somali Democratic Republic", the country began to embark on
a socialist path under the leadership of a unity party. In 1977 and 1978, the
Somali intervention in Ethiopia in the so-called Ogaden War was repulsed with
Soviet and Cuban help. The increasing resistance to the authoritarian regime of
Somalia led from 1988 to nationwide unrest among the population. Fierce fighting
broke out in Mogadishu in 1990, which resulted in the overthrow of the
government. A council of elders appointed Ali Mahdi Mohamed as interim
In 1991 the northern part of the country declared itself independent as
"Somaliland". The first president, Abdurahman Ahmad Ali Tur, was replaced two
years later by Ibrahim Egal.
In 1991/1992, a famine caused around 300,000 deaths among the country's
In 1992, the UN Security Council tried to put an end to the civil war through
an arms embargo and resolution 751 and the resulting Operation UNOSOM. Finally,
a multinational force (UNITAF) was deployed, but ultimately failed, the mission
was canceled in 1995. The Arta Conference held in August 2000 led to the
creation of a provisional government (except for Somaliland), which the
opposition soon fought with armed violence. The reasons for this lie partly in
rivalries between individual clans. According to the department for the
investigation of military service by minors, the PLAoSS is increasingly using
In October 2002 a reconciliation conference took place with the participation
of Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti, as a result of which a ceasefire agreement was
signed. The negotiations that followed did not produce any results. On March 8,
2004, the first nationwide campaign against female genital mutilation began
under the President of the Transitional Government, Abdikassim Salat Hassan.
In December 2004, the country's coasts were hit by the tsunami, killing at
least 132 people and leaving many thousands homeless.
With the entry into force of the new constitution on August 1, 2012, the new
Federal Republic of Somalia is again a reasonably functioning state. On August
25, 2012, a joint government was elected for the first time, which is now
recognized by other states and international organizations as the legitimate
representation of Somalia.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that the Federal Government of Somalia has
adopted Sharia, although uniform application is not guaranteed. And until today
the country is unfortunately still a victim of terror, banditry and internal